So You Think You Can Dance
The Shane Sparks Interview

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"They brought me in for one episode, and I stole the show"
Daniel: You said, when you were selecting those dancers, that it was going to be a mistake to put Danny in the top twenty, and then he was in the final four, and by the end of the show you were saying that he was the best dancer that's ever been on the show, so… Sparks: Yeah, definitely. Daniel: …Did he evolve, or were you wrong about him at the outset, or -- Sparks: You know what, I'll say I was wrong, but I wasn't wrong. You know how when you first meet somebody, and it's not a good meeting? Your perception of them, that's what you know. So I only knew him from the way he talked, the way he walked, and his attitude. That's what I didn't like. He danced like a king, like, he still outdanced everybody on the show, but his personality, I just knew that we were going to clash. It was going to be somebody that I wasn't going to be able to work with. So that's the point of view I was coming from. Later, as I worked with him, I realized, "Oh my god, he's a beautiful person, he's got a really good heart." Danny is just so good, and his confidence level is so high, there's not too many things you can show him or say to him that he hasn't already done or already learned. So, that's the energy you get from him, and you can mistake it for being arrogant or not, but that's just the energy you get. But once you meet him, he's just a softhearted guy who just loves to do what he does, and wants to, you know, wants to succeed in dance. And once I met him, and started working with him, I realized that, that was all just -- I wouldn't say it was a front, but it was just a misunderstanding of him. And I would tell everybody this: please get to know people before you judge them, because you could be throwing away a diamond, you know what I mean? And not even know it. And he turned out to be a diamond, and he was top two, you know what I mean? He shoulda won that show, you know what I mean? But Sabra won the show, I'm proud of her, but as far as the best dancer in America, it should have been Danny, you know what I mean? But that's just me, coming from a dancer's point of view, you know what I mean? Daniel: When dancers are doing your routines, and they're getting criticized by the judges, how much responsibility, as a choreographer, do you feel? Sparks: Oh my god. It's, I'll say it's fifty-fifty. I honestly say that, because a lot of times, when we give them choreography, a lot of times we're giving them choreography that fits the two. Sometimes you have a better hip-hop dancer, and a better jazz dancer, dancing together, so I cater more to the hip-hop dancer, and then I water it down to fit the one that doesn't do hip-hop, you know what I mean? So I do -- that's my job, to make them look good, but after that it's on them to practice and train and make it the best that they can, because I don't care who you are: if you can walk, and you have a little rhythm, you can make almost any routine look good. So when they mess up, or when they don't give a hundred percent, or they don't come across well, that's on them, you know what I mean? But the idea of the choreography, you know, that's on us. We usually give them a good piece.

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So You Think You Can Dance




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